I was gravitating towards cozy fantasy books before I even knew it was a thing, so I consider myself a little bit of an expert in this sub genre. If you’re interested in books like the BookTok crazed Legends & Lattes then you are in the right place!
If you are a part of the 2023 Reading Challenge this year, these books could fulfill a category or two on your list such as romance or YA fantasy.
What is Cozy Fantasy?
Usually a cozy fantasy is high fantasy, low stakes. High fantasy would be a completely different world from our own filled with magical creatues and forms of magic such as Lord of the Rings.
But instead of crazy battles and blood and guts, you get a chill ogre with a desire to open her own coffee shop (the plot of Legends & Lattes).
That being said, there are some cozy fantasy books that still have fairly high stakes. But they still contain all the cozy like tea or coffee, lovely descriptions, a love of books, a plot filled with general cuteness… etcetera.
Must Read Cozy Fantasy Books
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna
In a world where witches exist, but they have to keep their magic secret, Mika ia struggling to her bliss. She ends up landing a temporary gig as a teacher to three wild children whose magic is out of control. What ensues is adorable, romantic and the epitomy of cozy fantasy.
I adored this book! It is definitely a gentle read. No high stakes here. It’s got a little romance thrown in and is incredibly heartwarming.
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
This is the BookTok craze that brought cozy fantasy to the forefront. Viv is an orc who is ready to lay down her sword and start her own cozy coffee shop. We’ve got really low stakes here with teeny tiny conflicts. Viv meets everyone she needs to meet to make her dream come true.
I loved this laid back read with all the descriptions of the coffee shop and food that they make. This is definitely a staple of the genre and a must read.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Linus Baker is a case worker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He lives a quiet life with his cat until upper managment brings him a case to evulate six dangerous children and report whether or not they are going to end the world. As he gets to know this little family, it may be a little harder than he thought to make the decision.
TJ Klune’s quirky magical stories are right up my alley and a perfect fit for the cozy fantasy genre. We might have slightly higher stakes here than Legends & Lattes, but it’s delivered with that same cozy laid back feel.
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Ages ago, the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and en masse went into the wilderness never to be seen again. Until one day a robot walks into the shop of a tea monk with the question “what do people need?”
I haven’t read this yet, but it is next on my list. What we have here though is a heartwarming, laid back read but with some robots instead of magic.
The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa
Rintaro Natsuki just lost his grandfather who raised him and is feeling a little lost and unsure of what to do next. Until a cat walks into his bookstore saying he needs help (yes a talking cat) saving books that have been neglected and mistreated. What follows is a thoughtful adventure to save books and Rintaro finds his purpose along the way.
We have a heartwarming fantasy on the subject of books… must read! I loved the tasks Rintaro is given by the cat and how books are treasured in this novel.
That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming
This is a cozy fantasy with higher stakes than most, but is a real laugh if you want some more humor in your cozy fantasy read!
Cinnamon runs into a demon who informs her she has been worshipping an evil goddess. They in turn go to hunt her down together.
Can't Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne
All Reyna and Kianthe want is to run a cozy bookshop that serves tea. After Reyna is almost killed in her line of work as the Queen’s security detail, she runs away with Kianthe and they find the perfect spot in the village of Tawney. The Queen however is not so happy that Reyna left her service so mishaps ensue.
This cozy read is directly inspired by Legends and Lattes, however there are definitely higher stakes in this one. There are descriptions of blood and heads rolling right in the beginning of the book, so be aware this is not totally laid back. It does come with the same cozy descriptions of tea and books though!
This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Briseis has a magical affinity for plants and as her family uncovers the secrets of the estate her great aunt has willed them after her death, Briseis discovers just how far her gifts can go. As a nefarious group comes knocking looking for a deadly elixir, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.
This cozy magical plant read comes with plenty of botanical references and cottage core vibes. We’ve got some higher stakes in here and deadly plants, but it is still a cozy fantasy nevertheless!
Flowerheart by Catherine Bakewell
Clara’s magic has never been dangerous, but one day one touch from her causes poisonous flowers to bloom in her father’s chest. As she seeks to reverse the curse, she discovers a darkness that has taken a hold of the Queendom and only she can stop it.
More cozy cottage core vibes here. I adore the cover art of the book! We’ve got some higher stakes, but lovely description and cozy fantasy vibes.
Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker
Nova Huang isn’t your typical teen witch. She works at her grandmother’s magical bookshop where they have spell books that help solve magical problems in the town. Along comes Tam, her childhood crush asking for help. Tam is a werewolf being pursued by dark forces, so together they find a solution and Tam finds a home.
This graphic novel is a delightful read with beautiful illustrations. I had it on my tbr list before it was even published. This is low stakes, laid back, heartwarming and magical read.
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Looking for a way to break her curse, living in the body of an old woman, Sophie finds her way into the home of the vain wizard, Howl. This is one of my favorite movies of all time, so of course I read the book as well. Each version is different and amazing in it’s own way.
You have all the cozy fantasy vibes you could ever want in this charming, quirky story.
Crumbs by Danie Stirling
In a magical bakery that serves special treats that make your dreams come true, Ray meets Laurie. As they chase their own dreams, they also get a real taste at love.
Food, magic, romance… what else could one want from a book?! The perfect cozy fantasy with a large helping of romance.
The Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T Kingfisher
Fourteen-year-old Mona isn’t one of those fancy wizards that help protect the city who can control lightning, but she can control bread. Her familiar is a sourdough starter named Bob. She can make gingerbread dance. She is happy in her aunt’s bakery that is until she finds a dead body in the bakery and she’s next!
If you are looking for a quirky, humorous, low stakes read, go for this one! I love that Mona’s magic is food. It doesn’t seem like much, but she saves the whole city from disaster with her magic. She’s a pretty cool fourteen-year-old!
The Tea Dragon Society by Kay O'Neill
One of my top favorite series of all time, I saved the best for last, The Tea Dragon Society is the epitomy of cozy fantasy. It’s got tea. It’s got dragons. It’s got romance. It’s got all the cozy vibes.
I talk about it more here in a post devoted solely to this series! Do yourself a favor and add this graphic novel to your tbr list right now.
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